Prince of Eckmühl
ORIGINAL: Gary Childress
Just saw part of World War II in color. It raised the question of whether or not the invasion of the Philippines was necessary. apparently the Navy plan was to bypass the Philippines and go straight to Taiwan. But MacArthur schmoozed Roosevelt into going with his plan to invade the Philippines. What do others think about the Invasioin? Was it necessary? Was it a waste of lives?
From a strategic point of view, probably not. That's not to say that Formosa would have been either a picnic operationally, or decisive strategically. The real key to closing the war out (apart from the atomic bomb) was the capture of Okinawa. That put the cork in the Southeast-Asian bottle as effectively as anything else that the Allies could have done.
But, it's important to realize that the Philippines were as much USA territory as Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico were at the time. Literally tens of thousands of Americans ended up trapped there when the Japanese took control in 1942. In that sense, the USA operation to regain control of the islands can be looked upon as a rescue mission of sorts. Also, by retaking the islands, the USA was looking to make sure that it maintained influence in the mineral-rich, and highly strategic archipelago after the war. Oh, and there was an election in November. I suspect that FDR and the Dems didn't want MacArthur causing any big fuss on the eve of the vote.
All in all, the invasion probably had more to do with politics, domestic and international, than with military imperative.
< Message edited by Prince of Eckmühl -- 12/11/2011 11:34:07 PM >
Government is the opiate of the masses.